Italian American WWII Hero: George Garille

To remember the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, NIAF is recognizing Italian Americans who sacrificed, served and defended peace, freedom and democracy during the war. This entry is a special submission from Timothy Garille in honor of his father.

“My father, [George Garille] told me that out family was living in Hoboken, N.J., and listening to FDR’s 1941 radio broadcast about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. [My father] had four brothers. Three of the four immediately enlisted.  Two served in the U.S. Army. My father enlisted in the U.S. Navy,” shared Timothy Garille.

George Garille with his mother, Maria Garille.

George Garille served in combat during WWII as a gunner and radio mate on a converted B-24 in the Pacific Theater. The bomber craft was used to track and destroy Japanese submarines. 

“[My father] was very skinny, so he could fit in the glass bubble on the plane that had some kind of heavy weapon to fire,” said Timothy Garille.

George Garille’s father left Mareto, Comune di Farini D’olmo, Provincia di Piacenza in Emilia-Romagna, and traveled alone from La Harve, France, in 1896. His last name was changed at Ellis Island to “Garille” from its original “Garilli.” He settled on Hester Street, in Little Italy, NYC. 

Garille’s mother was also from the same town and embarked from La Havre alone, arriving to the United States a young woman when she was around 18 years old. She settled on 13 Mott Street in Little Italy. In 1901 George’s parents were married at what in now the Church of the Transfiguration. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Hoboken, N.J., which was predominately, an Italian and German enclave.

If you’d like to make a submission to NIAF’s #IAWW2Heroes initiative, email the photo and description to media@niaf.org.

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